Financial Daily Dose 3.1.2021 | Top Story: Walmart Poaches Goldman Bankers in Bid to Bolster Fintech Venture

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Walmart’s recent move to hire away a “pair of senior Goldman Sachs bankers” to head up the retailer’s new fintech startup (a collaboration with Ribbit Capital) has tongues wagging about the company’s ambitions to shove its way into the banking business and “intertwine itself in the financial lives of its customers” - Bloomberg and WSJ

Now that Adam Neumann’s squared away [shares purchased, lawsuit settled], SoftBank’s path forward to taking WeWork public is a whole lot clearer - NYTimes and Bloomberg and Law360

Not that it’s all smooth sailing for Masa Son. Earlier today, Credit Suisse announced that “it suspended a group of private investment funds tied to supply-chain finance assets created by SoftBank Group Corp.-backed specialty-finance company Greensill Capital”—likely over concerns about Greensill’s exposure to “U.K.-based steel magnate Sanjeev Gupta” - WSJ and Bloomberg

Let’s quantify the fallout from the GameStop frenzy for Robinhood, shall we? 1 hot-seat hearing before the House, 1 on-air scolding for Vlad from the Barstool Sports guy (yeesh), and nearly 50 lawsuits for the company over the trading restrictions it implemented at the height of the craziness [some of which it’s already looking to settle] - NYTimes and WSJ

United Airlines is paying nearly $50 million to “settle criminal charges and civil claims related to the transportation of international mail.” Yes, mail. The carrier “was accused of submitting false delivery-scan data between 2012 and 2015 to make it appear that the airline and its partners had transported mail in a timely manner to the intended recipient” - WSJ

McDonald’s is mulling a chunk of the digital startup Dynamic Yield, the platform it acquired “less than two years ago in a bid to boost sales at drive-throughs and digital kiosks,” amid “franchise complaints that it hasn’t delivered the promised sales boost” - WSJ

Mr. Buffet defended his rare 2020 Berkshire buyback spree in his annual newsletter to shareholders, though he disappointed some by withholding an explanation for BH’s decision to largely sit on its sizable cash stores while “other investors aren’t” - WSJ and Bloomberg

Meanwhile, Elliott Mgmt’s Paul Singer laid some groundwork in a recent client letter to lay claim to a serious “Told you so” when the market inevitably bubbles over after its recent frothy excesses - Bloomberg and MarketWatch

California federal district judge James Donato has given final approval to a $650 million settlement involving Facebook over its alleged violation of the “new and untested” Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) based on default face-recognition settings – Law360

As the Post’s Marty Baron prepares to exit stage left, the Times considers how he and owner Jeff Bezos have remade the storied paper over the past 8 years - NYTimes

Uhhh, so about that loaner . . . . After more than 30 years, the Rockefeller family has repossessed the 25-foot long canvas tapestry replica of Picasso’s “Guernica” that hung outside the UN Security Council chamber. No word on a why for the repo or on what could replace the piece - NYTimes

Stay safe.

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